So, I'm not going to sit here and tell you, you have to do a ski season but I'm going to explain why you should atleast give it a go and experience something new. 2016 was the best year of my life because everyday was filled with happy people, snow and constant challenges that excited and scared me everyday.
Myself and my boyfriend both worked as cleaners on separate mountains, The Remarkables and Coronet Peak. The elements that made this job so fun were;
1. The people
You're working and sharing experiences with people from all over the world and I was fortunate to have such a fun and amazing group of people whome I worked with. One of the main things that glues everyone on the mountain together is the common interest of skiing or snowboarding, and no matter how experienced you are everyone is there to help and encourage you. This sport can be absolutely addictive, whether it be due to adrenaline or the fact that there is always room to experience something new; a new technique, a new board/skis, a new style of riding, a new park, new powder, new mountains, new views, new countries, new people, bigger, steeper, faster. Pick one.
Before i go off course, back to the job. On our night shifts we rode up with the snow groomers in what we call 'The Troopy', these were some of the most hilarious conversations. At the end of the season we were fortunate enough to catch a ride in the Snow Cats for sunset on top of The Remarkables mountain, which was one of the most spectacular views I've ever seen. On our weekends off we would take trips out to new mountains such as Cardrona, where you don't even have to ski/snowboard, you can just sit with a beer and watch 'park rats' all day go over the 80 foot jump. All of this you can enjoy amongst the great friends you make during the season, or if you're more of a one person pack then you can enjoy the quietness of the mountains if you enjoy going off peest.
2. The ride time
Working as a cleaner sometimes felt like a thankless job but the ride time made it absolutely worth it and the job completely humbles you. On a night shift you ride till 3:30pm, start work at four and finish at midnight. Finishing at this time meant that you got a decent nights sleep (if you don't decide to go out, in some cases snow addicts will still get up and ride,no matter how bad the hangover hits) and then head up to shred some powder. Having all this time to ride meant that I was able to learn how to snowboard and improve on my skiing.
3. The views
New Zealand has countless spectacular views no matter what mountain you're up. The views from below were just a short walk up to a lookout point from the chair lift, "shadow basin". My adrenaline junkie friends would go off exploring off peest mountains that surrounded The Remarkables ski field for sunrise. If you are to do this you must let ski patrol know so they can advise on Avalanche risks.
Not only does New Zealand have incredible views but it will show you skies you've never seen before. Known as Aotearoa - Land of the long white cloud. Clouds warp into the most surreal shapes and skies expose the clearest views of the Milky Way (if you go to the right places).
4. The Kea Birds (only on Remarkables)
The Remarkables gets some naughty little visitors in the evenings, called the Kea bird.
Kea are a protected species. They are the world's only alpine parrot, and one of the most intelligent birds.
To survive in the harsh alpine environment kea have become inquisitive and nomadic social birds - characteristics which help them to find and utilise new food sources. The yellow colour on his beak indicates this is a young Kea.
After completing the season we bought a car and took a road trip around the south island with our friends we met at NZSki.